Tuesday, October 31, 2006

273/365 Another Jane

My babysitter had two false eyeteeth and played vampire for me. Hers was the first VW Bug I ever rode in. She married a guy who turned out to be gay, which, if we’d had one iota of consciousness in those days, was obvious.

Monday, October 30, 2006

272/365 Judy

Her eyes are always dancing—with glee, with news, with anger. Little is whispered within 10 miles of her shop that won’t take to the wind and land at her ears. She’s the local lampshade lady. I get to live somewhere that has one.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

271/365 Chuck and a Third David

When they aren’t wintering in Florida and Mexico, they’re summering in Vermont in side-by-side houses in this quirky slate town. In less than a week, they can soak in all of winter’s gossip, then fill me in, the introvert-editor gal who actually lives here.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

270/365 Another Barbara

When siblings appear so different from one another—eg, Barbara seemingly neat, active, thin, practical, with a flair for home decorating—it’s tough to surmise from those appearances what the parents must have been like, even when, or especially if, they were your grandparents.

Friday, October 27, 2006

269/365 Another Sarah

She’s a ray of sunshine, shining her own light through stained-glass art. I know how ray of sunshine sounds—syrupygross—but her happy-but-hip energy cuts through the darkest anything. You feel good around her. Her studio’s in the old G-Spot. That’s good energy too.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

268/365 Carmen

She’s an intelligent, upper-middle-class suburban professional. When I got her e-mail—which contained phrases such as no child left behind, partial-birth abortion, and defense of marriage—two days before the election, I knew then and there that we were in for four more years.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

267/365 Lali

At first surgery averse, she’s now the poster child for the prophylactic hip replacement. “Do it before it hurts!” she incites. She’s given up pigeon, little else. Lali is a wonderful name, but it feels so good to speak the full one: Eulalia, Eulalia.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

266/365 Marguerite

was always Mom to Craig’s good friends. Fifty-one years ago today, she changed my life forever, and I wouldn’t even be born for six-and-a-half years. That must be among a mother’s Secret Powers: unleashing an energy onto the world that will Utterly Change Everything.

Happy birthday and bon voyage, Sewa Yoleme!

Monday, October 23, 2006

265/365 Rita of the Shetland Islands

directed us to that northernmost point: drive, park, a 90-minute hike. There we might see the puffin colony, but it was probably too late. It wasn’t. They frolicked within feet of us. Back at the car we devoured the tea she’d lovingly, knowingly packed.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

264/365 Lizzie

She’s aglow at her opening, deadlines met, paintings selling. I saunter up in cowboy boots, compliment her perfect shoes that complement her grandmother’s silk evening jacket. My footwear’s fun, but pedestrian, no match for the roomful of the teetering heeled: real players, potential buyers.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

263/365 Rosalind

The six-degrees game led me to glamorous Rosalind and my at-last-adult move to Washington springtime. I had a futon and clothing enough to not embarrass the temp agency outright. She had a house, an operatic voice, summertime daughters. There was sweetness to those days.

Friday, October 20, 2006

262/365 Another Deborah

After some late-night dancing and hot-tubbing, we speed toward home on Rock Creek Parkway into an oncoming raccoon. Deborah looks back, gasps, tells me to hold on, hits the accelerator. She always understands what needs to be done and does it, damn the pain.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

261/365 Cindy

shows up a tad late for the dinner party, having just left another social engagement: the pig roast down the street. “I put on makeup before I went over there,” she eye-rollingly confides to us chix in the kitchen. “Those guys don’t even bathe.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

260/365 Leslie

Two years since Bobby died, and she’s just sold the house they built. She doesn’t know where she’s going yet, but she won’t be staying. She’s swimming out of that undercurrent of people I’m happy to know are physically around. I will miss her.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

259/365 Another Mark

His speech is peppered with silences that are easier to negotiate face-to-face than on the phone. Is he still there? Has the line gone dead? Has he? He is carefully formulating his reply, answering questions about a proofing job, then his wife, his daughters.

Monday, October 16, 2006

258/365 Fred

fashions fly rods from split bamboo, gives them a flame finish. My own Kretchman 3-weight is much cherished. When the last raffle ticket sells for the set of Bogdan reels, Fred turns to friend Stan and teases, “They had to throw in a Pfleuger.”

Sunday, October 15, 2006

257/365 A Third Stan

Arguably the most famous reelmaker alive today, there he sat, postpancakes, in my living room, flipping through page proofs of his biography by Hilyard, telling me stories about every photo. Maybe I’ll own one of his reels someday. Being female may up my chances.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

256/365 Cal

The local astrologer/tarot-card reader was a wonderful part of our quirky neighborhood. Her energy reminded me of Ruth Gordon’s Maude. I loved knowing she was here, loved even more running into her. But suddenly, she was gone, moved to Sedona without saying goodbye.

Friday, October 13, 2006

255/365 Maria Elena

left her privileged life in Chile to work for empowerment of the poor in DC. After a couple decades, she returned—with Dewey—to her homeland. She’s the kind of beautiful that will not be ignored, the ferocious kind, with its demanding, effective voice.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

254/365 Carson

I barely know him, but weekly I make pizza with his Flaming Red’s wood-fired crust, load it with yummy fresh toppings. If he ever quits—repetitive stress injury, boredom, anything—life will change utterly, in a way that could only leave me deeply sad.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

253/365 The Best Tim

I think he likes me. He takes me fishing. We go birding, hiking, canoeing. We hang out downstairs in Martini Lounge. I get to curl up with him almost every night, have for more than twenty years. He still lets me. Curl up. Close.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

252/365 Stephanie

She feels the pain of the world, can’t or won’t put up the filters some do to keep it at bay. Maybe professional actors hold these emotions closer to the surface for access. Maybe my not letting myself feel is a well-developed act itself.

Monday, October 09, 2006

251/365 Another Stan

He, too, has an aplodontia look about him, not unlike that Kate. At my luckiest, I’m seated on a stool next to him at 1811 House, sipping single malt, bemoaning the state of the world but celebrating friendships and faith in the mountain beaver.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

250/365 Kate

is a successful magazine publisher, an instructor for and board member of Casting for Recovery. She has a cultural radio segment once a week that I’ve never heard(!), but she has the silky voice for it. I suspect she stalks the wild mountain beaver.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

249/365 Anita

introduces herself as Tim and I gear up in the lodge’s parking lot. Her husband’s fishing with a guide; she’s got MS and can’t wade water like this anymore. She’s fresh from a Casting for Recovery weekend and is gushing like a spring creek.

Friday, October 06, 2006

248/365 Nicole

She began as receptionist, but was too talented a writer to sit so still. She married a filmmaker—wasn’t he Nation of Islam?—and filled her home with the names Sowande and Damani. Her son’s the light of her life, her dream come true.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

247/365 Vicki

Talented, energetic, enthusiastic, Vicki was sweet to all her staff, but the very qualities that make someone an excellent speaker and teacher can come off as a tad patronizing in the office (that labored gathering of folks fumbling toward their best). Not her fault.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

246/365 Another Marlene

She had a mole on her face that really bugged Ken. She tried to take the department by storm. Having never met a Marlene, it felt odd to me to suddenly be working with two—nearly as odd as Tim working with two Megumis.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

245/365 Marlene

became Sara’s true best friend as they bonded over various office sexcapades. They were two American beauties, blonde and brunette sides of some fantasy coin. There was an eventual falling out over a man, of course. Marlene’s need to win may have been insurmountable.

Monday, October 02, 2006

244/365 Another Ken

He was a refugee from an NPR shakeup, far too qualified to be proofreading in our office. He’d recently swept a woman off her feet, away from the wrong fiancé. When the office chitchat got ridiculous, we’d lob eye-rolling notes over his cubicle wall.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

243/365 Another Sara

I was briefly her office confidant. One weekend she gave me a lift to New York. Great road trip. Turns out NYC yellow lights are much shorter than DC ones. By Sunday, she’d lost both window and stereo. We headed south with voices raised.